Overnight Regulation: Groups lobby White House over Obama work safety rule

Overnight Regulation: Groups lobby White House over Obama work safety rule
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Welcome to Overnight Regulation, your daily rundown of news from the federal agencies, Capitol Hill, the courts and beyond. It's Monday evening here in Washington where former acting Attorney General Sally Yates testified before Congress about Michael Flynn and the Russia. Read all about that here

 

THE BIG STORY 

Groups are flocking to the White House this week to lobby for and against an Obama-era workplace safety rule covering beryllium exposure.

The White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) has four meetings scheduled on the Labor Department rule to limit workers' exposure the toxic material, which can cause a deadly lung disease.

The Trump administration has twice delayed the effective date of the rule. Employers now have until May 20 to limit exposure to 0.2 micrograms of beryllium per cubic meter of air over an eight-hour period and 2.0 micrograms of beryllium per cubic meter of air over a 15-minute period.

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Opponents claim the Labor Department violated the Administrative Procedures Act by wrapping the construction and shipyard industries into the rule in its final stage.

Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), which joined other industry groups challenging the rule in court, will meet with ORIA on Tuesday.

"Associated Builders and Contractors joined with other organizations to file the petition for administrative stay and re-opening of the rulemaking record for OSHA's beryllium standard," an ABC spokesperson said in a statement to The Hill Monday, referring to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

"We share OSHA's commitment to ensuring the safety and health of all who work in the construction industry; however, in the last days of the Obama administration, OSHA expanded the scope of this rule to include the construction industry without sufficient notice for the industry to provide feedback on the feasibility and implementation of the new standard."

The National Employment Law Project (NELP) is also meeting with the White House today.

Debbie Berkowitz, a senior fellow at NELP, said OIRA is considering a proposal to roll back protections for workers in construction and shipbuilding.

"Weakening the rule would be a gut punch to workers," she said.

The group is planning to urge OIRA to keep the new standards to better protect workers.

The AFL-CIO, which has long supported the rule, and Strategic Materials Inc. are also meeting with OIRA this week.

Lawsuits challenging the rule have been consolidated in the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, where arguments are expected sometime in August.

 

ON TAP FOR TUESDAY 

The Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure will hold a hearing to examine water resources, and public and private sector roles. 

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will meet to consider the nomination of John Sullivan to be Deputy Secretary of State.

The Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety and Security will hold a hearing to look at maritime transportation and opportunities and challenges for the Maritime Administration and Federal Maritime Commission.

 

TOMORROW'S REGS TODAY

Keep an eye on these rules in Tuesday's edition of the Federal Register:

--The Department of Education will formally withdraw an Obama-era teacher preparation rule.

The rule on teacher prep standards published last October was struck down earlier this year by President Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress through the Congressional Review Act.

The Education Department will now take steps to remove the teacher regulations from the government's rulebook, known as the Code of Federal Regulations.

The withdrawal goes into effect immediately.

--The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will propose new venture capital rules.

The rules pertain to registration exemptions for investment advisers.

The public has 30 days to comment.

--The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) will look to simplify its regulations.

The CFTC will request suggestions on how its "existing rules, regulations, or practices could be applied in a simpler, less burdensome, and less costly manner."

The public has until Sep. 30 to comment.

 

NEWS RIGHT NOW

Trump reveals first slate of judicial nominees

 

Dem senator: Possible methane vote would be 'huge step backward'

DOJ tackles tuna price-fixing scheme

Sinclair announces deal to buy Tribune for $3.9B

FCC says it was victim of cyberattack after John Oliver show

Zinke kicks off Utah tour in national monuments review

FCC site crashes after John Oliver segment

Dozens of groups urge Trump to leave Paris climate deal

Obama to discuss climate change in Italy

TSA lays out new security framework for 'soft targets'

Writers union blasts FCC chair over Colbert review

Opinion: Labor Secretary Acosta needs to act swiftly on fiduciary regulation (Morning Consult)

Berkshire Hathaway's vice chairman says fellow Republicans are 'bonkers' for taking away bank regulations (Bloomberg)

 

BY THE NUMBERS

5: Proposed rules

9: Final rules

(Tuesday's Federal Register)

 

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"[Stephen] Colbert was poking fun at authority, a time-honored American tradition and an essential principle of democracy," said the Writers Guild of America in a letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Monday.

The FCC is examining complaints it received about a crude joke comedian Stephen Colbert made about President Trump. The agency says it is looking into the comments, as it does whenever viewers send in complaints, but the Writers Guild is blasting the move.

Read more here.